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December Meeting - Susan Lindsey on Business Writing

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December Meeting - Susan Lindsey on Business Writing

  1. 1. Top Tips for Business Writing 1 KENTUCKY IABC DECEMBER 8, 2011 SUSAN E. LINDSEY SAVVY COMMUNICATION LLC
  2. 2. Why does good writing matter? 2 Strong writing skills: 1. Give you power. 2. Enhance credibility and image. 3. Increase professional opportunities.
  3. 3. Common business writing tasks 3 • Letters • Digital content • Email • Announcements • Presentations • Proposals • Memos • Speeches • Reports • Sales & mktg. materials
  4. 4. Three-step process 4 1. Do your homework. 2. Write it right. 3. Edit, rewrite, proofread.
  5. 5. 1. Do your homework. 5 a) Know your audience. b) Determine objectives. c) Gather and organize info. d) Determine key messages, main points. e) Set aside time to focus.
  6. 6. Conquer writer’s block 6 “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” —Gene Fowler
  7. 7. 2. Write it right. 7 a) Have a point b) Remember the basics c) Organize content d) Watch grammar e) Use active voice, strong verbs, specific nouns f) Use right words
  8. 8. Evil Twins 8That or which?
  9. 9. KISS: keep it short and simple 9 “Old words are best and old words, when short, are best of all.” —Winston Churchill
  10. 10. 3. Edit, rewrite, proofread. 10 a) Let copy “breathe” for a few days b) Edit from hard copy c) Read copy aloud d) Be brave; be brutal e) Keep objectives in mind f) Use spelling and grammar tools g) Clear, concise, complete and correct?
  11. 11. Don’t fear rewriting 11 “I try to leave out the parts people skip.” —Elmore Leonard “The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend.” —Isaac Singer
  12. 12. Proofread after editing. 12 a) Take a break between editing and proofreading b) Proofread from hard copy c) Focus; read slowly and aloud d) Check: facts, numbers, grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation e) Proofread headlines, subheads, captions, tables f) Use style guide
  13. 13. Final tips to improve writing 13 • Tell someone what you learned today • Edit and critique the work of others • Take a writing class, workshop, seminar • Write a lot • Read a lot
  14. 14. On my bookcase 14• Atlas, dictionary, thesaurus• AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style• Elements of Style, Strunk and White• A Grammar Book for You and I (oops,Me!), Good• Lifetime Encyclopedia of Letters, Meyer• Right, Wrong & Risky, Davidson
  15. 15. Online 15 • Refdesk.com • Bartleby.com • Wikipedia.com • WritersDigest.com • ChicagoManualofStyle.com • Grammar.quickanddirtytips.com • DrGrammar.org
  16. 16. Susan E. LindseySavvy Communication LLC 16 (502) 632-2241SUSANLINDSEY@SAVVY-COMM.COM WWW.SAVVY-COMM.COM

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